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Foo Fighters

  • Kohl Center 601 West Dayton Street Madison, WI, 53715 United States (map)

Even in 2017, many folks unfairly truck in all sorts of expectations and attitudes about Dave Grohl's band of the last 24 years just because he was in that other one for a far shorter (if transformative) period in the early 1990's. It's a comparison that barely merits mention but only seems relevant in that Foo Fighters' recently released ninth album, Concrete And Gold, signifies the band's comfort level with the identity it's settled into in the time since its first two records. Live, "crazy" is the main word Grohl used to describe almost all the songs from Concrete they debuted at concerts all over the globe this past summer—the band no longer has to prove they can rock, that they can do softer songs, too. Just a glance at the album's guests—Paul McCartney and Boyz II Men's Shawn Stockman, just to name two—demonstrate that band is ready to be who they are, and not at all apologetic about the Rolodex their star power affords. Although there are brighter and bigger marquee names associated with the album, producer Greg Kurstin of synthpop duo The Bird And The Bee is perhaps the most intriguing: Grohl and Kurstin were mutually fascinated in working with each other, as the latter had never worked on a heavy rock album and the former had never worked with a pop songwriter. It sounds like a readymade PR puff quote, but both have since remarked this is the sort of album they both have always wanted to make but could not have made without the other. Grohl has also previously confessed a lack of confidence in his writing and especially his lyrics; this album was borne out of a self-imposed hiatus from the band, during which he spent some time alone to focus specifically on writing. Grohl says Concrete represents his ruminations on his feelings about the United States today, "politically, personally, as a father, an American, and a musician." Since the band is bursting back three after their last album, and this is intended to be a more centered, more focused, and more personal record, that gives us hope for a perhaps "crazy," but more importantly revitalized, performance here at the Kohl Center. —David Wolinsky